After 40 years with the ambulance service, Hazardous Area Response Team (HART) Leader Chris Leivers has hung up his boots for the final time.
Joining the NHS in 1977 as a student nurse, Chris worked for the Nottinghamshire Ambulance Service in 1981 with an interest in trauma care and wanting to help drive forward clinical advancement in the ambulance service.
In 1982, Chris became a qualified ambulance man and pushed to develop his skills working on his self-development. This led to Chris being selected for the first National Extended Skills course where he became the first Extended Clinical Skills practitioner to qualify in Nottinghamshire.
Ten years after joining the NHS, Chris qualified as a paramedic and then went on to become Paramedic Team Leader three years later in 1990.
Moving up through the service in a number of different roles throughout the years, Chris became one of the first original HART members where he finished his career a couple of weeks ago.
Joining as a HART Operative, he then progressed to Team Leader in 2014, and during this time he received numerous nominations and accolades for a wide range of achievements.
The most notable of these awards was the Association of Chief Ambulance Officers (ACAO) Ambulance Person of the Year, a Chief Executives Commendation and a Willetts Award; which received in 2015 after going above and beyond to save the life of a patient who was threatening to jump from an eight storey high car park. When the patient was hanging from the side of the building by his fingertips, Chris leant over the side of the building and grabbed the patient’s belt and pulled them to safety.
Sid Murphy, HART and Special Operations Manager, said: "Chris is a unique character and has always been a big part of the EMAS HART family. He was one of only a handful of the original team still remaining and his positivity and enthusiasm hasn’t changed back in 2009 when we first started up.
"Chris is renowned for his stories and the way he delivers them, and is even known nationally in other HART units as “the guy with the gyrocopter”. Most people wait for retirement before they focus on unusual hobbies, but Chris has already perfected the art of Punch and Judy shows, balloon animals, has his pilot’s licence and has recently renovated a vintage ice cream bike (none of this will be news to anyone who has met him), so who knows what he will do with all this spare time on his hands.
"His retirement will leave a big gap in the unit and he genuinely has helped so many people in his career either as a clinician, a mentor or a manager.
"It’s fair to say that his approach to work and his motivation to help the community has not diminished from the day he joined the NHS to the day he left.
"Chris will be greatly missed, but definitely not forgotten!"